i Big Bus London hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus - compared with others


Big Bus London hop-on hop-off open top tours

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Big Bus Tour London

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About Big Bus London hop-on hop-off sightseeing tours

The Big Bus London hop-on hop-off service is one of the three London hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tours operating in London, the others being Tootbus (formerly Original Tour) and Golden Tours.

Big Bus offer a good choice of three walking tours included with their mid-range and premium tickets, a free one-way river cruise is included with all tickets. Evening tours are available and included with the Explore ticket.

On this page we discuss your ticket options, what is included and how Big Bus is different from the other two major hop-on bus providers.

Big Bus Tours is the largest operator of open-top bus sightseeing tours in the world and will be well known to many people; read on to find out which provider is right for you.

Save up to 28% with Big Bus + top London attraction.

BOOK Big Bus tickets   What's included   Big Bus ticket types   Save on walk-up prices   Save £££'s on Big Bus with top London attraction   Big Bus times and map   Big Bus included with London Pass   3 FREE walking tours   FREE river cruise   Big Bus compared with Tootbus & Golden Tours   Covid-19   Hop-on buses price comparison table  

The Royal Palace at Madame Tussauds London

You're cordially invited to be part of history!

The Royal Experience at Madame Tussauds London

Big Bus London tickets


London Big Bus tours


Choice of tickets • FREE River cruises on all tickets • 3 FREE guided walking tours on Essential & Explore tickets • Evening tours included on Explore ticket • Free Wi-Fi on board • Audio in 5 languages • London in your Pocket app access

Big Bus London - what's included in your ticket

Big Bus tours top deck
Big Bus tours give you great views of London
  • Unlimited travel for 24 or 48 hours on the Big Bus sightseeing bus network that visits all major attractions in central London.

  • Flexible tickets available

  • 3 high frequency daily open top sightseeing routes that feature live, English speaking guides and/or pre-recorded commentary in 5 languages.

  • Free on-board Wi-Fi

  • London evening tour included with Explore tickets

  • A one-way river cruise on the River Thames to see major sights from a different perspective

  • 3 FREE guided walking tours included with Essential and Explore tickets

Comparison table of London's hop-on bus prices 2023

The new Guy Fawkes themed Escape Room at The London Dungeon

What you need to know about Big Bus London tickets

Big Bus couple
Choice of tours on Big Bus

Big Bus St Paul's
See St Paul's

Types of Big Bus tickets

Big Bus offer four basic ticket types, and in addition several combination offers of well known attractions plus Big Bus hop on bus ride.

1. Discover - 24 hr- with river cruise (one way)

2. Essential - 48 hr - 3 free guided walking tours + river cruise (one way), fully flexible

3. Explore - 48 hr + evening tour + 3 free guided walking tours + river cruise (one way), fully flexible

4. Evening Tour - panoramic evening tour of London

5. Discover + London Eye standard

6. Discover + Madame Tussauds

7. Discover + Tower of London

8. Discover + London Eye Fast Track

9. Essential + London Eye Fast Track


Unlimited use of buses plus river cruise included

All ticket types cover unlimited use of all of the Big Bus open top sightseeing buses and you can board the river cruise once (one way) during the validity of the ticket.


3 different routes

Red route - with live commentary - 'The Best of London.' Including London Eye, London Bridge, Trafalgar square, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower of London, Westminster Pier, Buckingham Palace, and much more.

Blue route - with audio guide in a choice of 5 languages. 'The West of London.' Including Kensington Palace, South Kensington Museums and Marble Arch.

Green route - connecting King's Cross and St. Pancras stations with the heart of London, where you'll be able to easily join our Red Route and Blue Route bus tours.

Valid for 6 months

The advance purchase discounted tickets are valid for six months, you are not committed to a particular day of travel until you board the first bus.

The multi-day tickets are contiguous. So, if you buy a 3-day ticket, the ticket is valid for 3 consecutive days from the day you activate the ticket.

Winter hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour promotions

Look out for extra promotions in the winter months from November to March. Big Bus often run promotions for an extra 10% or more. So, if you are travelling outside the peak summer months, keep your eyes open for this promotion.

Big Bus + top London attractions tickets - save up to 23%

Discount London are offering a great deal: buy your Big Bus tickets in combination with your choice of top London attraction and save up to 23% on the cost of buying tickets separately.

Attractions included are: London Eye, SEA LIFE, St Paul's Cathedral, London Dungeon, Madame Tussauds, Tower of London and London Zoo.

In addition, through the Big Bus official website you can also add on tickets to: Madame TussaudsTower of London and London Eye Fast Track. It is worth comparing prices between Discount London's combination of tickets and on the official Big Bus website as prices can differ.

London bus tour Big Bus


Combine Big Bus hop on hop off bus tour with London attractions

Combine attraction tickets with hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus package

• Enjoy Big Bus hop-on bus ride and river cruise with combo ticket of discounted attractions • Choose from: London Eye, St Paul's, Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE, Tower of London, London Zoo, London Dungeon

Big Bus Tour - how long does it take? Start and end times and map

Big Bus Tour map

Big Bus Tour map London 2023


With over 40 stops across 4 different routes, you'll have plenty of opportunities to hop off the bus and explore the London landmarks and attractions that appeal to you most.

First Bus: 9am from Stop #1: Green Park Underground (Piccadilly - next to the Ritz, by entry to Green Park tube station) 

Last Bus: 5pm from Stop #1: Green Park Underground (Piccadilly - next to the Ritz, by entry to Green Park tube station)

Full Circuit Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes (approx.)

Evening tours are included in your ticket for Premium and Deluxe ticket holders only (Classic tickets not included).

Evening Tours: Departure #1: 6pm from Stop #12: London Eye (Westminster Bridge Road (bus stop next to Lion Statue, outside London Marriot County Hall). One per evening.

Note, route changes happen relatively frequently and there are always events in London (especially Sundays) where road closures can impact the operation of tours. So do check the Big Bus website just prior to travelling which will highlight known issues in advance.


Audio guides and languages

On both routes you can listen to an informative digital commentary, available in 5 languages and broadcast via complimentary headphones (or bring your own).

The audio commentary is available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Free Wi-Fi

There is free Wi-Fi across the entire fleet of Big Bus London.

London Pass - Big Bus included (or Golden Tours)

Big Bus or Golden Tours hop-on bus included with London Pass
Big Bus hop-on bus included with London Pass

The London Pass is a flat rate sightseeing pass to many (but not all) of London's main sightseeing attractions. You can buy a London Pass for 1, 2, 3, 6 or 10 day durations

The London Pass gives you entry into more than 60 London tourist attractions and a river cruise on the River Thames.

The London Pass also now includes use of either Golden Tours or Big Bus hop-on hop-off bus, whatever the duration of the London Pass.

Key points of the London Pass Ho Ho bus offer

  • You can choose to ride on the Golden Tours or Big Bus hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. Tootbus (Original Tour) is not covered.

  • The Ho Ho bus offer is for one calendar day not for 24 hours.

  • Most people use the Ho Ho facility on the first day of their London Pass, but there is nothing stopping using it on another day when the London Pass is valid.

  • The Ho Ho bus offer with London Pass doesn't include the walking tours and river cruises included in the standard tickets issued by the Ho Ho companies concerned, only the bus tour (but you do get a river cruise included in the London Pass separately anyway)

  • You show your London Pass to the driver or tour guide of the first bus you board. They will scan your London Pass and issue you with a separate ticket for the bus company concerned valid for the rest of the day. You cannot switch to the other bus company once you have made your first journey.

London Pass more details

Three FREE walking tours included with Essential & Explore Big Bus tickets

If you purchase either the Essential or Explore tickets (both for 48-hour periods) you get three free walking tours included with your tickets automatically.

Walking tours on offer include:

1. Changing of the Guard Walk. Reveals iconic royal pageantry (will revert to the Royal Walk on days the Changing of the Guard doesn't take place).

2. City of London Walk. Explores the history and modern architecture of the City of London.

3. Jack the Ripper Walk.  Explores the East End while sharing tales of London's most notorious serial killer. 


Royal themed hop-on bus tour with Royal walking tour - until 4 June 2023

In addition Big Bus are currently offering a Royal themed hop on bus tour - 'A Big Royal Adventure'' together with a 45-min Royal Walking Tour.

Free river cruise with Big Bus tours

Big Bus free river cruise with City Cruises
River cruise included with Big Bus tours

FREE Thames river cruise with City Cruises

A complimentary one-way river cruise offered by City Cruises (lasting around thirty minutes) is included in your Big Bus London ticket (all tickets).

The cruise departs from Tower Pier and arrives at Westminster Pier, where you then hop off to rejoin the bus tour. At Tower Pier you will see the majestic Tower of London, while at Westminster Pier you can see the Elizabeth Clock Tower (Big Ben) and the London Eye.

The cruise includes live commentary and enables you to see London and its attractions from a different perspective.

Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, Shakespeare's Globe and the Tate Modern art gallery are some highlights that line the riverside.

Departure times vary, but are about every 20 minutes in the summer and every 30-40 minutes in the winter.

Big Bus v Tootbus v Golden Tours

In terms of London coverage all three Ho Ho sightseeing bus operations visit the same areas and all the main London attractions.

Live guides

Currently only Golden Tours offer a regular service operating with live guides - however this is not a hop-on-hop off bus but a fixed duration of 90 minutes (the price is nearly the same as the hop-on bus price).

Otherwise all three companies use pre-recorded commentaries for their hop-on bus services (they vary on the number of languages offered).

However, during special 'promotional periods' Tootbus sometimes put on a special service with an expert live guide. These tours are based on a first come first served basis and cannot be guaranteed (although they do run hourly).


All operators offer tickets with 24 and 48-hr validity periods; Tootbus and Golden Tours also offer 72-hr tickets.

In addition Tootbus offer a 1.5-hr Bar Bus ticket, while Golden Tours offer a fully guided 1.5-hr Express ticket (see above).

Evening Tours

All three operators offer evening tours. Big Bus also include a separate evening tour with their Premium and Deluxe tickets.

See websites for more details.

Walking Tours

Both Golden Tours and Big Bus offer highly regarded professionally guided walking tours included with your ticket (selected tickets only).

In addition Big Bus are currently offering a Royal themed hop on bus tour - 'A Big Royal Adventure'' together with a 45-min Royal Walking Tour.

With Golden Tours you can choose from a Jack The Ripper Walking Tour or Coronation Walking Tour.

Big Bus offer THREE FREE TOURS with their Essential and Explore tickets: Changing of the Guard Walking Tour, City of London Walking Tour and a Jack the Ripper Walking Tour. Each tour is 1.5 hours long.

Tootbus do not offer guided walking tours but instead give you the chance to download "Tootwalk" to your phone: a choice of three self-guided walks.

River cruises

Two different river cruise operators are used, City Cruises and Thames River Sightseeing.

Golden Tours and Tootbus both offer tickets which are cheaper because they do not offer the river cruise. River cruises come standard with all Big Bus tickets.

All river cruises are for one-way only.

Add-on attractions or alternative tours

Golden Tours offer a range of attractions as add-on to the basic 4-hr hop-on bus ticket.

You can buy discounted bundles of Big Bus and top London attraction through Discount London.

In addition, through the Big Bus official website you can also add on tickets to: Madame Tussauds, Tower of London and London Eye Fast Track.

Tootbus don't currently offer any add-on attractions but they do offer alternative tours such as a Windsor hop-on bus tour and a very popular Kids tour.

Click through on the banner for a thorough discussion on the differences between companies.

London's hop-on buses - discussion comparison

Big Bus London tickets


London Big Bus tours


Choice of tickets • FREE River cruises on all tickets • 3 FREE guided walking tours on Essential & Explore tickets • Evening tours included on Explore ticket • Free Wi-Fi on board • Audio in 5 languages • London in your Pocket app access

Big Bus safety measures during COVID-19

Currently there are no real restrictions in London.

If you are worried, then travelling in the open air and distanced from other passengers will help ensure your experience is a safe one.

Visit Britain has put together safety guidelines which reputable companies like Big Bus has signed up to. You can see what procedures have been put in place on their "Good to Go" safety video.



Online advance ticket price adult/child/family


*24 hrs or 1-day no cruise

**24-hrs or 1 day with cruise

*48-hrs or 2 days no cruise

**48-hrs or 2 days with cruise

*72-hrs or 2 days no cruise

**72-hrs or 3 days with cruise

London Evening tour

Tootbus (Original Tour) Adult
Big Bus Adult
N/A £38.00
N/A £54.00
N/A £63.00
Golden Tours Adult
N/A £40.91
N/A £45.45
London's hop-on buses - 3 hop on buses compared

All prices (except family prices) are those offered through Travel Compendium unless otherwise stated, using banners on this page. Travel Compendium aim to be price-competitive, offering you the best value price (against the hop-on bus company's own permanently discounted online prices, which are between 10 - 15% off their walk-up prices).

To be sure you are getting the best possible price it is advisable to check our prices above against the hop-on bus companies' websites as they occasionally run sales throughout the year:

Tootbus official website

Big Bus official website

Golden Tours official website


* Golden Tours and Tootbus offer cheaper tickets, which are bus only, no river cruise. Tootbus offer this for a 24, 48 & 72-hr ticket and call theirs 'London Discovery'. Golden Tours offer the bus only option for either 24 hours or a 1-day period only.

All other Tootbus and Golden Tours tickets are for 24/48/72-hour periods, unless stated otherwise.

** Prices for Tootbus here use official Tootbus link, Big Bus and Golden Tours prices use our links.

Family hop on bus tickets and other tour options

Family prices for all companies can be found through the operator's own websites (above).

For a big range of Golden Tours hop on plus attraction tickets see: Golden Tours hop-on bus plus attractions


London Eye Amazing panoramic flight on the world's highest observation wheel. » Fast track tickets available.
The Shard Tallest building in Western Europe with viewing of London from the top. » Fast track tickets available.
St Paul's Cathedral Cathedral of the Diocese of London, venue for royal weddings. » Pre-book to guarantee entry.
Westminster Abbey Along with St Paul's, England's main religious building.» Pre-book to guarantee entry.
Tower of London Home of the Crown Jewels and a rich thousand year history. » Fast track tickets available.
Madame Tussauds See wax statues of the most famous people in the world. » Fast track tickets available.
London Dungeon The creepiest attraction in town, the London Dungeon. » Fast track tickets available.
Hampton Court Palace Henry VIII Medieval Palace set in vast grounds. » Pre-book to save money.
The London Zoo World class zoo in the centre of London. » Flexi tickets available.

Every effort is made to keep all our information correct and the advertised prices up to date. We endeavour to be as accurate a source of information as possible but Travellers Toolkits cannot be held responsible for any price differential between our stated prices and those of the companies supplying the product or accuracy of information provided on our sites.